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Depression and Heart Disease

3 Diseases That Make You Stink


So, you know in Game of Thrones, there’s
this character—smells really bad, they call him “Reek”? Turns out, that could actually be caused by medical conditions that we know of, medical conditions that cause you to emit odors that go way beyond the typical stinky armpit. In some cases, you might reek of boiled cabbage,
or sweaty feet, or even rotting fish. These conditions are rare,
but their symptoms can be pungent, and sometimes also downright dangerous. Unusual body odors are often a sign of a bigger
problem—specifically, a defect in the way your body is breaking down, or metabolizing, your food. For example, there’s the condition known
as trimethylaminuria— also known as “fish odor syndrome”. Patients with this condition are said to smell
like decomposing fish, because their bodies don’t break down a compound called trimethylamine,
which emits the je ne sais quoi of fishiness. Now, everyone’s body produces trimethylamine—specifically, in the gut, where bacteria excrete it while helping us digest foods like eggs, liver, and fish. Normally, having all that trimethylamine
in your body is not a problem, because it’s converted into an odorless molecule,
thanks to a special enzyme in the liver, known as a flavin-containing monooxygenase. But people with fish odor syndrome can’t
metabolize the smelly compound, because they have mutations in the gene that produces that enzyme. Without enough of that working enzyme, the
trimethylamine builds up, and has nowhere to go but out with your bodily fluids—in
your sweat, urine, even on your breath. But people with the condition do have some options. They can change their diets so there are fewer
of the precursor chemicals that get broken down into trimethylamine. It’s one of the only times your doctor
will actually tell you not to eat your broccoli, or your brussels sprouts! Infusions of antibiotics can also help wipe out some of the bacteria that are making the trimethylamine. These rarely solve the problem entirely, but
the good news is that apart from the smell, there isn’t any major health problem associated
with fish odor syndrome. Which is not the case for a disorder that gives people the distinctive whiff of sweaty feet. This condition, known as isovaleric acidemia,
can cause brain damage, and even death, particularly in young children. Here, patients have a genetic mutation that
leads to a deficiency in an enzyme called isovaleric co-enzyme A dehydrogenase. This enzyme is important because it helps
break down the amino acid leucine. Without this enzyme, leucine can only be broken
down part-way. And the compound that’s left over from this
process, an acid called isovaleric acid, starts to build up. Isovaleric acid smells kind of like cheese,
and it’s the same chemical that makes your sweaty feet smell. The bacteria hiding out between
your toes produce this acid when they’re chomping away on leucine. But while isovaleric acid isn’t exactly
pleasant to smell outside your body, it can be downright damaging to the inside. It’s not exactly clear why, but a build-up
of isovaleric acid tends to have the most dramatic effects on the central nervous system. In large amounts, it’s toxic to neurons, which can result in developmental delays in many patients. And because this enzyme deficiency makes it
difficult to digest breast milk or formula, dangerous symptoms can start
appearing very soon after birth. In severe cases, infants just a few days old
will refuse to eat and begin to have seizures. There is, so far, no cure for isovaleric acidemia,
but some treatments— like avoiding foods rich in leucine, and taking supplements of other, non-threatening amino acids— can help keep patients safe. Finally, peculiar symptoms and even stranger
smells can result from another, similar disorder known as hypermethioninemia. In this case, the problem is having too much
of a different amino acid: methionine. Methionine is the rare amino acid that contains
sulfur, an element known for its pungent odor. And when methionine isn’t metabolized properly
in your body, it can result in large amounts of dimethylsulfide, which produces a smell
similar to boiled cabbage. Sometimes the condition comes about just because
you’ve eaten too much methionine, which is in protein-rich foods, like meat and cheese. But if the cause is genetic, it can be due
to mutations in one of several genes that are responsible for making the enzymes that help break down methionine. Without those enzymes, patients sometimes have that cabbagey smell in their sweat, breath, or urine. And strangely, not everyone with the disease
has symptoms—in fact, most people don’t. But in some, it can be serious. In severe cases, the inability to process
methionine can lead to neurological problems and muscle weakness, among other problems
in the nervous system. Again, treatment usually involves avoiding
foods that contain methionine, as well as taking supplements to make sure that the body
is getting what it needs. So, run-of-the-mill BO is nothing compared
to the very real medical conditions that can create unpleasant smells. There are a lot of things that can go wrong
when your body metabolizes food, and weird odors are just one way
to help spot and diagnose them. This episode of SciShow is brought to you
by 23andMe, a personal genetic analysis company created to help people understand their DNA. The name ‘23andMe’ comes from the fact that human DNA is organized into 23 pairs of chromosomes. Through genetic analysis, 23andMe users can
see which regions around the world their ancestors came from, and learn how their DNA influences
facial features, hair, sense of taste and smell, sleep quality and more. You can also connect with people who share
similar DNA; and also learn how your DNA may influence your health and wellness. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long,
and I haven’t, and I don’t know why. Oh, this is gonna be hard with the green screen. Woo, woo, where is it? They’re gonna tell me about me … from my spit. What? What’s the liquid in the funnel for? Oh, woah, did I break it? Okay, it’s fine. Everything’s fine. Alright. Now I just spit in it. By sending in my saliva, I’ll have the opportunity
to learn about my health, ancestry, and personal traits through my DNA. I’ll also learn about my genetics related to
muscle composition, lactose intolerance, and caffeine consumption. Once I mail in my kit, I’ll have the results
in a few weeks. To do the same—and to support SciShow
—pleasecheck out 23andMe.com/SciShow

100 thoughts on “3 Diseases That Make You Stink

  1. Why do so many people have user pictures of letters whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  2. a lot of people say Hillary Clinton smells very bad like rotten fish and I clicked on this video to read comments about that but there really is none I'm thinking Hillary really has one of these diseases especially the fact of week muscles and neurological problems and a lot of videos I've seen of her she shows the symptoms

  3. I smell like cotton candy that's wired bc I haven't had cotton candy since I was 8 I'm about to be 12 on February 1st and I don't buy any products that's smell like cotton candy but is it normal to smell like cotton candy and my friends say I smell like cotton candy also 😯😓

  4. Can't believe you mentioned sweaty feet. Now all the vile, mentally dysfunctional people with foot fetishes are going to be getting off to this video. They disgust me. Edit: 3 comments down and there's one of those weirdos already.

  5. If I forget my deodorant they smell like tacos. 🙂 I don't need another disorder! I would like to see you do an episode on what happens when your insulin receptors do not function. Somehow my disorder is got to get out into the public knowledge.

  6. I was adopted at Birth and have a very weird one of them kind syndrome. I have always wanted to know what my DNA says but on SSDI I cannot afford a test from 23 and me or anybody else.

  7. 23andMe does not provide HIPAA protection or give privacy to your genome/genetic material at all. Instead you sign away your rights to your own genetic data meanwhile they make even more money selling it to biotech companies and I thought scishow was awesome until I saw this….

    Yikes guys do a little research before you advocate for something or at least provide a disclaimer….

    Ugh!

  8. 23 and me, no thanks. You do know that the contract you sign with them stipulates that they can do whatever they please with your genetic info right?

  9. There was a guy in my dormitory in college who smelled constantly of rotting meat. I don't suppose you know of any medical condition that would result in that smell?

  10. 23andMe is full of crap! They said I was 42.67% American Indian. Which is Extreme malarkey. I have blonde hair and blue eyes. Thankfully they're going to be giving me a free test because this makes no sense

  11. ok so my ex bestfriend’s feet smells really bad (what my parents said) and i guess that’s why she always stank a lil bit ..

  12. Uhmm can masturbation can cause fishy body odor even when i took a bath the smell is still there even when i take deo when its morning my body odor smells so bad i dunno whats my body problem or maybe it is puberty but my armpit stinks so bad even after taking a bath pls advice me what to do:(

  13. I had a friend who has this condition. We were very close but I decided to left him because it also affects my social life. Whenever we hung out together people think it was me who stinks. But I'm glad he found a new friend. At least now I know he doesn't eat his lunch alone.

  14. I actually have a friend that often smells like rotten fish quite often. And this probably is in her urine, which leakes and she has no control of it. She told me herself.

  15. I've been having a difficult time that when ppl get around me they always but ALWAYS sniff their nose when they get near me I really can't smell how I smell but ppl get really bothered alot and my friend has told me I smell bad and I've had this situation over 6 months and I've been to the doctors several times and have prescribed me the sinus rinse and it didn't work and I really can't find out why I smell like this can someone plz help me

  16. I always ask God why me…. I am suffering from this problem from last 20 years… Now I completely broken.. I can't even die, because I have my family…. I smell worst, body odour, bad breath, foot odour, scalp odour, urine stinks, worst bad breath,… I stay away from people, I don't talk to them face to face, but while traveling people get away from me…. Now I'm strong, because I know I stink, but all I can do is "face it"… 😊

  17. It's not just egg's,liver,all food's contain choline.this give's people the impression that if we exculde egg's ,liver etc that I can control this devastating disorder!

  18. I'm trying to understand why my coworker smells so bad. After watching this video, I'm still not sure what he has because he doesn't smell like fish, cheese, or boiled cabbage; just very, very musky. Though he looks clean, the odor can fill up a room and it lingers whenever he walks by. I'm not trying to be rude, but I feel nauseous when I'm around him, and it affects my productivity.

  19. I went vegan …4years… and started smelling weird. Idk what it did to me but i never in my life had anyone tell me i smelled bad until i turned vegan. I’m thinking i did something to my microbiome from completely changing my diet literally overnight. It’s crazy

  20. SciShow Hope you don't mind me asking a more.. "Mature" question on biology, but I've read that with most people, that decomposing fish smell emits around the genitals.. The urethra and circumcision scars of males, and the vaginal tract with females (mostly common when on their period).. Is that this "trimethylaminuria," or more from the decomposition of reproductive cells left over after sexual intercourse?

  21. I wonder if smellin funky only after eating Pork meat or Seafood especially Fish crabs n shrimps is a form of this deasease?😕…just askin for a friend😙👉🔬

  22. I'm an 18 year old male, and I'm 115 lbs. And no matter how long I go without showering, I never produce any body odor beyond a faint smell of dry grass and pepper. I know some East Asian people don't produce much body odor, as a natural evolutionary trait. But I'm not Asian, I'm from Armenia. I only noticed it going into high school because many people would get sweaty once in gym class after 45 minutes, and immediately fill entire hallways with a smell like rancid cheese, rotten eggs, septic rot, or pickled fish, while I could just stop wearing deodorant for an entire month or even stop showering, and I wouldn't smell like anything. Only my hair would get really greasy. I don't understand why this is. I went through puberty, I have body hair, I sweat a normal amount, and after puberty my hair and skin got really greasy. But for some reason, I don't produce noticeable body odor, no matter how long I go without deodorant. If you smell it directly from very close up, after I go a few weeks without showering, like when I'm camping in the forest, there is a faint herbal smell, or a smell of wood chips, and a very slight phosphorus smell, like a burnt firecracker or a shotgun shell.

  23. hey im told i smell like ass consistently im trying all these things ordering all these soaps currently im using 3 types of soap dove body wash, dove (bar of soap) and dial mens body wash ……..idk what to do i resorted to staying inside my apt and i only go out to wash clothes and work but ther than tht i stay inside bc i thnk im a hindrance to people and @ this point im tired of staying inside can you give me some advice bc i dont even know how much longer my co workers ccan take it b4 im fired………

  24. Anything about Cystic Fibrosis bad breath, especially for us carriers? 23andMe revealed I am a carrier, and I am semi-symptomatic. I need to take guaifenisin to thin mucous. One nephew's heart defects may be from being a carrier, as my brother is as well, but asymptomatic.

  25. I think body odor smells and stuff that are very interesting. I was hoping you would talk about “old people smell.” Also, I once worked for a man who drank at least 12 cups of coffee a day. He exuded the smell of coffee from his body. It was very odd, but not bothersome because everyone else in the office also drank coffee. I think there are other illnesses that cause weird body odors, especially related to the liver not working properly.

  26. What about PKU? It is another metabolic disorder, and in PKU, the patient’s body cannot break down protein correctly. It is genetic, and I know one family who have three (now grown) kids with the disorder. The genetic disorder causes protein to be broken down into a compound that is neurotoxic, causing progressive developmental and cognitive damage. If patients avoid almost all protein, they can avoid a lot of the neurological damage. The disorder causes them to have an odd ‘musty urine’ smell to their body that smells like very concentrated mouse urine. The smell can be mitigated by multiple baths each day, but never really goes away.

  27. I feel bad now. I said something to a girl for smelling like feet. It was a very strong smell but I thought she just didn't wash. I hope she's ok. 😭

  28. Not only what he talked about, having a bad smell could mean you have a loaded diaper. Yes, you crapped your pants. It does happen you know.

  29. When he was talking about 23 and me and he was saying all the things that you can tell about yourself doesn't it sound like the movie Gattaca? I don't think I want my DNA out there.

  30. I suffer from body odor.

    It is mostly from a low thyroid. Low metabolism. Your body is not working efficiently. Building up crud.

    After increasing my thyroid medication the odor problem is going away. It just takes a long time (over 9 months now) for my body to get rid of the build-up of junk from the 23 years or more that my thyroid was super low. Drinking water and mild exercise helps.

    Methionine is an amino acid the body needs, consumed from foods you eat, to help your joints that is converted in the liver to sam-e that your joints actually need and use to keep your joints lubricated and working well to include your spine.

    Low Aldosterone and Renin can cause body odor too. A symptom is craving bananas.

    Be careful out there folks because the doctors do NOT know what they are doing when it comes to thyroid health especially the endocrinologists. They have been taught wrong.

  31. This is directed at the Sponsor of this Video: 23andMe has gotten lazy since a Pharma company bought it. They don’t update their app home page, where the “buttons” overlap others. When clicking on DNA relatives, they switched to a non-useable listing format, which is a dead end. The original format worked to see new relatives & was searchable. Their app programming is lackadaisical, and non-existent. Their health surveys are constantly sent, despite neglecting their app, therefore the app is designed to collect data solely for the big Pharma company. I originally loved 23andMe to see relatives and Medical DNA data to rule out syndromes & diseases that can arise later in life. Now I can’t recommend it, since big Pharma has ruined 23andMe’s original intentions. Sorry big Pharma, your acquisition of this company has ruined it, in my humble opinion.

  32. I’ve had sulphur burps and farts luckily it’s only occasional but it’s Fking disgusting it almost makes me puke when I get sulphur gas plus it makes me overly gassy and I can’t control it il stink up a room when it happens

  33. Beware! This is an ad. The CIA warned their employees not to do genetic testing as the results were being used to identify people. If you are a spy this can be problematic. For most of us I want to to think further down the scale. YOU may not be a criminal now but as the years go by laws are made. Some of these laws may go against your belief system and you may break laws in an effort to preserve your soul. If your DNA is out there it will be easy enough to locate you. If a relatives DNA is out there it will be easy enough to find you. I understand you have no intentions of breaking the laws under current situation and feel that law breakers should be tried, what you are thinking is that the laws in place are reasonable. Laws are being manipulated though in a way that can prevent you from protecting yourself from the very criminals that you feel should be tried. Some criminals will never be tried because they are given authority by the law makers to control the population through fear. What does exposing your DNA have to do with any of this? Everything. Sometimes it is best not to be numbered in a census. Don't volunteer yourself. Keep quiet and attempt to stay under the radar. Protesters are identified. When you attend rallies, you are identified. Your even identified at Disneyland. Your identified at Walmart. They can create a pattern of your movements just by using cameras and talking to your peers. Don't help them by providing very personal information.

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